2011-07-03 - 8:40 a.m.
all photos � 2011 by elaine radford
bloodstone and fancy jasper from india
So I've pulled over 100 tumbled stones from my first batch that I consider to be complete -- either because I like the polish or because I think that it would require unreasonable or perhaps impossible effort to improve them. I've probably got almost as many in the "needs to be hand polished bucket."
I have several large flat pedestal or card protector Bloodstone/Fancy Jaspers that still need more polishing. However, I did get a nice shine on the smaller ones. They did get 12 hours of burnishing and 36 hours in the polish stage before the lid went all blooey -- sufficient to put a nice shine on many of them.
I had a variety of Brazilian Agates in the mix. One of my favorite stones was the Brazilian Agate disc, which has a wonderful "shadowing" pattern. Unfortunately, my camera is giving me grief, and I wasn't able to get a real good picture of it. This one, backlit, is astounding. I need to figure out a way to hang it so that it catches the sun.
The "round" one, if we can call it round, is the remains of a marble-making experiment gone horribly wrong. It did take a nice shine, though, and I was able to clean all of the polish "goo" out of the tiny crystal vug, by using a soak in white vinegar and water as suggested by someone on the RTH board.
Before I realized that I've really, truly, got to stop collecting rough, I swapped for some Savannah River Agate (chert) and some Utan Pigeon Blood Agate. We haven't had time to prep this rough, but I shaped one test stone of each material on the rough grinding wheel and dropped it in the mix. Both took a great polish, although the photo doesn't do justice to the Savannah River material. You get only a hint of the mysterious orange and purple flavor.
I re-shaped some of my better slabettes from the "Snuffy" assortment and dropped them into the mix. The soft orange and the painterly mustard yellow Jasp-Agates came out particularly well. When I'm set up to drill, I'll drill these for accent pendants.
Another remarkable material is the stuff I've dubbed "Snow Scene." I will have to find out what it's really called, as it's another material that's worthy of becoming jewelry.
Petrified Palmwood! I thought it was one of the state gems of Louisiana, but apparently, the oyster shell is, in a stunning political move worthy of Mike "I Was Governor For 8 Years And All I Did Was Make It Legal For Dumb-Bunnies To Motorbike Without Helmets" Foster. Bobby Jindal, you are a credit to your mentor, even if you're an embarrassment to the rest of us. State fossil or whatever, these Petrified Palms are, I think, probably all Texas material, again courtesy of "Snuffy." When I get enough, I'll make a mosaic. Maybe even in the shape of the Fleur de Lis.
The Mexican Crazy Lace is a mix of my estate stuff and more "Snuffy" slabettes. Wonderful color here.
I would really like to photograph this last group of translucent Agates over the lightbox, but my camera is giving me fits, so I won't, at least not right now. Maybe later.
What I've learned from this first batch of tumbled stones:
Evening Note: A single Eurasian Collared Dove joins the feeder assemblage.
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